Uncertainties in atmospheric dispersion modelling during nuclear accidents

Jens Havskov Sørensen*, Jerzy Bartnicki, Anna Maria Blixt Buhr, Henrik Feddersen, Steen Cordt Hoe, Carsten Israelson, Heiko Klein, Bent Lauritzen, Jonas Lindgren, Fredrik Schönfeldt, Robert Sigg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Predictions of the atmospheric dispersion of radionuclides accidentally released from a nuclear power plant are influenced by two large sources of uncertainty: one associated with the meteorological data employed, and one with the source term, i.e. the temporal evolution of the amount and physical and chemical properties of the release. A methodology is presented for quantitative estimation of the variability of the prediction of atmospheric dispersion resulting from both sources of uncertainty. The methodology, which allows for efficient calculation, and thus is well suited for real-time assessment, is applied to a hypothetical accidental release of radionuclides.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106356
JournalJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Nuclear emergency preparedness
  • Atmospheric dispersion model
  • Source term uncertainty
  • Meteorological uncertainty
  • Ensemble prediction


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